With Tampa Bay sweeping the Presidents’ Trophy winning Florida Panthers last night, it’s down to three teams left in the Eastern Conference, while over in the West last night Nazem Kadri tuned out the racist attacks from Blues fans and some pretty shitty responses from the Blues themselves, with a hat trick as the Avs took a 3-1 series lead.
Knowing that your reward for winning this series is facing a well-rested Lightning squad must be rather daunting. For the Hurricanes, they can head home for an elimination game with a win tonight, while a Rangers victory can turn this into a best of three affair for the right to try and unseat the champions in the Conference Finals.
Game Three between these teams got heated, and the comments from Ryan Reaves could add fuel to that fire:
Ryan Reaves' plan for Game 4:— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 23, 2022
"I'm going to go do my thing. I'm going to run some people, get in their face and try to get the same result as [Sunday], another win."
Rod Brind'Amour's response:
"I don't know what he's waiting for."
#NYR Ryan Reaves on his Game 4 mindset: "I'm going to do my thing, run some people and get in their face and try to get the same result as last night: another win."— Sean Farrell (@seanfarrell92) May 23, 2022
When asked about Domi and TDA: "There's going to be some added nastiness when a specific player does something."
This series has been all about the goaltending so far. Antti Raanta was spectacular in the first two contests, while Igor Shesterkin responded with a fantastic performance in Game Three. It’s going to continue to be a theme, though the potential for fireworks tonight will make special teams a major factor in who emerges victorious.
The Oilers played what was easily their best game of the playoffs in Game Three, and the pushback from Calgary has to be from their skilled players and not mouth-breathing buffoons like Milan Lucic. The question is, does Darryl Sutter know a way to beat the Oilers that doesn’t involve a live action 70’s hockey roleplay? Trying to goon it up hasn’t worked, and unless they can a) get Mike Smith off his game like they did in Game One, b) shut down the Oilers top guns, and c) get a solid performance out of Jacob Markstrom, they will be heading back to the Saddledome Thursday looking to avoid being eliminated.